Ahmad Rashid is widely considered to be the best journalist on Afghan and related Pakistani issues. And he has a scoop over the secret U.S. negotiations with the Taliban. I respect him though I don’t necessarily agree with him. And Rashid’s points must be integrated into the U.S. and Western debate over Afghanistan.
Here’s the key section:
“The talks are premised on the essential realisation that neither a successful western withdrawal from Afghanistan nor a transition to Afghan forces can take place, without an end to the civil war and a political settlement that involves the Afghan government and the Taliban, but also Pakistan, the US and the region.”